How to use ChatGPT to accelerate Android app development
Are you interested in mobile app development? Or are you even involved in its development? Then you have a pretty good idea of how much time and effort it takes to develop and maintain them. But why get stuck on a problem when we have modern technology and artificial intelligence at our disposal? Let us show you how ChatGPT can make app development easier!
The breakthrough in application development is called ChatGPT
You must have already heard of this chatbot. No? It often finds praise in the IT sector, but its scope is almost limitless - from marketing through production to app development. We're going to show you how this useful tool can knock even the best developers off their feet.
Before we get into the examples, let's remind ourselves what ChatGPT is.
ChatGPT is the most modern language model by OpenAI that can help developers efficiently generate code, UI text or technical documentation.
How can AI accelerate and optimise Android app development?
In this article, we will demonstrate the capabilities of this modern tool using 7 practical examples in the following areas:
User interface text
Integration with other tools
Using artificial intelligence in code generation
One of the most essential features of ChatGPT for Android app development is its ability to generate code - such as Kotlin. This is especially useful when you are just starting out with a project and need to set up a basic CRUD (Create → Read → Update → Delete).
You can puzzle over it for several hours or delegate the task to ChatGPT, which generates the necessary code before you say "API".
Chatbot code generation can be used for all common programming tasks, such as creating data models and mapping tools.
Let's demonstrate it with a simple example.
Developer Emil is working on a new API project. He urgently needs to create a Data Transfer Object (DTO) usable with a library (Retrofit) and a corresponding domain model. He can do it, though he knows it will take a while. But it doesn't have to. ChatGPT speeds up the whole process - it can generate code for both the DTO and the domain model, including a mapper for interconversion.
Code generation using ChatGPT
The whole process, including manual writing of the DTO, is unnecessarily time-consuming for developers. Or rather, it was. After all, ChatGPT offers clean and readable code while following best practices. The versatile tool can handle generating Room entities, Data Access Object (DAO) interfaces, CRUD calls, etc...
In short, it's an absolute must-have add-on for Android developers!
Generating user interface text
Handwriting labels gets tiresome quickly. Especially when the developer has other far more important things to do.
You can also leave this part to artificial intelligence - whether it's button and form labels, error messages, or other UI elements. All you need is a well-formulated command.
Creating labels for the shopping app
ChatGPT can generate suitable labels and other UI texts that match the style of the application all by itself. Again, the developers save time while they focus on the work that primarily requires their attention.
Tech documentation has never been easier
Artificial intelligence can also turn into an indispensable assistant when creating technical documentation.
Let's get back to Emil's project.
Emil is working tirelessly on a new feature for his application and needs to document the API endpoint. Again, this is a time-consuming activity, made more difficult by working with a complex and opaque system. ChatGPT has already helped Emil once, so he will use it again.
This is what a simple Create API documentation command for the 'create user' endpoint looks like in practice:
Quick and clear documentation
Instant bugfix and easy formatting
Formatting errors that occur when processing strings of data are not taboo. They happen sometimes. Unfortunately, even with a perfect data structure, it's not always easy to find the hidden glitch right away. It can be just a minor typo.
You guessed it right, ChatGPT will help us here too. It generates an adequate and error-free format chain from a simple data example.
We'll leave it to Emil again.
This time he tries to analyse a string of data from the server that is in the format yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss. However, a coffee break distracted him for a moment, and he made a few mistakes when parsing. Now, how to find them... If you have any experience with this work, you'll know that this format is about as readable as The Da Vinci Code.
Let's see how the chatbot solves it.
A brief example is enough for a correct solution
And the correct chain is in place. Easy, right?
Test cases in any situation
The chatbot offers a (cyber) helping hand in testing as well. It can even create test cases for various scenarios to avoid potential problems.
Emil can do this but new developers can easily get burned when working on more complex code.
Let's put ourselves in a concrete situation. We are currently working on a new password authentication feature. The function signature looks like this.
Example of a function
ChatGPT creates test cases for the feature, including expected results. What does this look like in practice?
ChatGPT in testing
The test cases mentioned above concern (in)valid passwords. Will it work? Or not? Why not? Using the validatePassword example, you can see the chatbot also validates the expected results during the actual testing.
Isn't that awesome?
Code optimization with ChatGPT
What about reducing unnecessary object creation, improving memory management, and reducing the number of calls to external libraries... in a nutshell, anything that will increase the speed and efficiency of the application?
ChatGPT helps optimise the code when developing an Android app too. Let's demonstrate this with an example of loading an image from a URL. Using Glide, a developer can make several library calls for the same image.
But this is easy to optimise.
Chatbot can suggest an ideal solution
In the original code, there are two separate calls to the Glide library for the same image. The optimized version of the code reduces the number of calls by reusing the same request for both imageView and imageView2. What does it achieve?
As a result, the application is less bulky and more efficient.
Artificial intelligence helps with optimization on all sides. It identifies unwanted loops in object creation, offers solutions, but also helps to find the cause of memory problems and suggests how to reduce memory leaks.
Integration with other tools
ChatGPT itself doesn't natively support the Android Studio app, but that's not a big deal. Other tools take care of the integration.
A code generation plugin handles the integration of the chatbot capabilities directly into the Android Studio interface. A popular example is the Kotlin Android Code Generator plugin. The connection is quite simple and only requires a few steps:
Installing a plugin from the Android Studio marketplace
Configuring the plugin settings for code generation
Using available templates to generate the plugin code
Integrating the generated code into the project itself
And that's it!
As a developer, you can generate code templates, test cases and optimised code snippets with ease. And best of all, you don't have to leave the development environment at all.
Another example is the command line interface that allows you to use ChatGPT through a terminal.
Developers can generate code from the chatbot (e.g. via KotlinPoet) and integrate it directly into Android Studio projects.
Android developers come across integration at every turn. Such an add-on should not be missing from any developer's toolkit.
What to take away from this article?
ChatGPT is not only a useful tool but also a handy helper that can do many tasks practically all by itself - with just minimal assistance. Its greatest advantage is its speed and low error rate. But beware, not every solution is correct.
Our article and a list of practical examples show the most important areas where AI can effectively help Android developers to improve their performance.
So why include ChatGPT in your development?
Saves time. Really! You have to try it yourself.
You can spend your energy where it's needed.
It will do a lot of work for you - and sometimes it does it better (except for a few bugs). Humans are not robots. A chatbot, on the other hand...
You can integrate it directly into your projects.
What are you waiting for?
Did you like our article? If you couldn't resist and went to try ChatGPT right away, it has served its purpose. Do you have any other questions? Would you like a refined app with a team of experienced developers and cutting-edge technology? Contact us!
This article was prepared for you by our international colleague Mike.
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